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The Tesla Model S has been out of the news for a few weeks, so it only seems right that it is time for it to grab the headlines once again. Tesla Motors has just announced that its car has been awarded the highest safety rating ever, and that the main reason for this success is due to the fact that it’s an electric vehicle.
On the 5 star scale Vehicle Safety Score, the Tesla Model S was awarded a seemingly impossible 5.4 stars, making it the safest car ever.
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Tesla Model S’ crumple zone provides unbeatable safety. (Inside EVs)
The main advantage is the lack of a large combustion engine, which massively reduces risk of injury in head-on collisions. This is because the empty space at the front where the engine would normally be, can be used to create a longer crumple zone. Think Progress explains that this helps because collisions injure due to “a force over distance problem – the longer the crumple zone, the more time there is to slow down occupants at g loads that do not cause injuries.”
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The small Model S electric motor is only about a foot across, and is mounted low down in the middle of the car, near to the rear axle. This low, more centralised position gives the car an unbeatable centre of gravity, making it virtually impossible to tip over. In fact during the safety tests the Model S would not roll over at all using the normal methods, requiring special techniques to force it over. The Model S was so secure that the next best vehicles were 50% worse.
Unfortunately with a price tag of $60-90,000, the Model S puts this safety out of reach of most people, although maybe Tesla will use similar designs on the cheaper EV cars that it is planning to release in the future.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com